"Not all those who wander are lost."

J R R Tolkien

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8 October 2011

A new knife commission. And a bit of leatherwork too...

I received a commission for a new knife from a gentleman who lives in Saskatchewan, Canada, and has another of my knives.

This is the list of his requirement for the new knife:

Hi Joel. We chatted some time ago via pm on BCUK about a knife you made, the Highland Bushcraft, which I had acquired. I still have this knife and every time I use it I like it even more. It's just such a great design- comfortable to use for long periods, well balanced and has a natural feel in hand. Not to mention taking and holding an excellent edge. Altogether a superb knife.

I've decided I'd like to have another of your great knives, if you're willing to make it of course!
This is what I have in mind: This blade shape:(somewhere between these two)

Handle material:  tan canvas micarta. Wood is beautiful but I'd rather have micarta for durability (even over stabilized wood).

 Handle length: 4 1/2'' with the scales beveled somewhat at the front rather than square cut. I would like the handle shape to be the most comfortable possible in all cutting  positions. I'm open to suggestions on handle shape. Woodlore, Skookum Bush Tool, Highland Bushcraft, Spyderco BCUK? A combination of these? Comfort takes priority over looks. Liners? Probably...maybe red?  I'm thinking three rivets with lanyard tube.

Blade: O1 steel, full flat grind is what I'm leaning towards for something different but haven't ruled out a scandi.

Blade length: a full 4'' cutting edge with the grind close to the scales as on the Highland Bushcraft.

Blade thickness:  2.5mm minimum/3mm maximum

Blade width: 1 1/8'' /30mm

Blade finish: low polish. A high degree of polish is not necessary or desirable as this is to be a working knife.

Sheath: A deep pouch style sheath of the dangler type but with no firesteel loop. I really have no colour preference.

I really enjoy this sort of commission, working in co-operation with a client and coming up with something that, hopefully will fulfil his wishes. We decide to call the knife the SBK: Saskatchewan Bush Knife.

After a few emails to and from this is the pattern that emerged:
Thin ply and pine model of the SBK
And here is the blade fresh off the coarse grinding belt:

SBK blade fresh off the coarse grinding belt

There is a bit more work to be done to the blade such a fine grinding, drilling the holes for the pins and lanyard tube, heat treating, putting the knife together etc, but I am pleased with the progress so far.

As to the leather work? For the fun of it, I made this steampunk wrist cuff!

Steampunk cuff, leather, brass & a magnifying glass!

Most of the stuff I make has a practical use to it. It's different when you're trying to try and get your head around to making something that hasn't! More art for the sake of it! I am quite pleased with it. It still have a potential practical use though: It's possible to light a fire with the glass! If you have some sun...


  1. That bracelet is a great, great idea...:-) and the blade is coming along nicely again...

    Man, if I get some money to spare next year...;-)

  2. hey joel, nice bracelet- it is not only possible to start a fire with a magnifying glass, it's almost too easy- (when it's sunny)-if i wore that out here in colorado it'd burn all th' hairs off my wrist- but that's a great idea for a nice looking, easy to carry fire kit-rico